Molly’s Game tells the true story of “Poker Princess” Molly Bloom, for those of you who don’t know Molly Bloom was running million dollar poker games in both New York and LA. Now I’ve been looking forward to this film for quite a while, because it marks Aaron Sorkin’s directional debut. Sorkin has previously won an Oscar for his adapted screen play for the Social Network, fans of Sorkin’s previous work would expect his usual quick and snappy dialogue and that is here in abundance. The script and dialogue of Molly’s Game feels like a tour de force for Sorkin, serving as a highlights reel of everything that makes him one of the best currently working screen writers. Furthermore, the plot of the film itself has enough twists and turns to genuinely keep you on the edge of your seat, with all the characters being three dimensional and well formed. This excellent formation is shown in Jessica Chastain’s Molly, who is shown as both powerful and savvy whilst also having moments of weakness. Jessica Chastain is on top form here and makes Molly a very easy to root for character, even when she does things that you don’t agree with. The best pairing in this film is easily Chastain’s Molly and Idris Elba’s Charlie Jaffey, the scenes that feature the pairs back and forth are easily some of the most enjoyable moments in the film, and the two have an easy chemistry through the entire proceeding. Elba’s Charlie is somewhat of an audience surrogate as he goes through the same journey as the audience, believing in the beginning that Molly is guilty and he has no interest in her case, but as the film continues he starts to see her more and more for her she actually is and see’s past his first impressions. The friendship Jaffey and Bloom have at the end is testament to Sorkin’s writing ability as you can see the friendship blossom throughout the film, and doesn’t feel rushed but rather earned. Even Molly’s father played by Kevin Costner, who at first seems to be plying the disappointed father stereotype, is later shown to be more than he seems, really it is foolish to assume anyone in a Sorkin film is as simple as they first appear. My only complaint about the film is that it is slightly too long at 140 minutes, with me personally thinking it could still be an excellent film at the 120 minute mark, but other than that this may be one of the best crime dramas I’ve watched in a long time.
Reviewed by Luke